Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Drink More Water

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

In college I drank so much water I used to plan my classes around bathroom locations. I carried an ugly reusable water bottle I got for free from a credit card company and I had to remind myself CONSTANTLY to keep drinking. It was never easy, never automatic and I never learned to like water. But I was also really thin and my skin looked really good.

Since then I’ve gone from drinking at least 100 oz a day to drinking almost none. It’s terrible, and not just in a “oh yeah, I should probably remember to drink more water” way, but in a “sick in the hospital for days plus two surgical procedures to deal with kidney stones which MIGHT have been prevented if I just drank more water” sort of way.

But I have FINALLY found the key to drinking water: STRAW CUP.

drink more water reusable straw cup

There is just something about drinking from a straw that makes water more appealing. It’s easy to throw in some lemon or cucumber slices. I can sip it while keeping an eye on whatever is going on around me – the kid, the road, the TV, the Twitters – and it’s sort of a mindless action. It’s why I drink a can of soda happily with lunch, but if I get a fountain drink I need the super hugemongeous size or it’s gone in 90 seconds. Even though I STILL don’t really like water, I’m drinking at least 5 of these cups a day.

That pink one above is from Target’s seasonal section, $5.99. It’s got some sort of freezable insulated layer in it, so you can keep your water cold while carrying it around all day. I’ve also seen them in dishes section at Target for $9.99 (still cheaper than only drinking bottled water) but the best deal I’ve found is this one:

orange straw cup drink more water

True fact: I actually had four Creamcicle Oreos but I hid 2 for the picture because it seemed like too many.

That cup is BPA-free and dishwasher safe. I got it at JoAnn’s Fabric, where it was priced at $5.99 but I used a 50% off coupon (They have a free coupon app for iPhone, you can sign up online for the mailers or just walk into the store – usually there is a rack in the front with the circular which has the coupons on the back) so it ended up being $2.99. I needed the second one because someone had commandeered my pink cup.

Turns out EVERYONE drinks more water from a straw.

I made myself a rule that ONLY water goes in the cups – because otherwise I’m sucking down 60 oz of sweet tea without even noticing – but I can still drink Diet Coke or lemonade or whatever from cans or regular cups. But really, I’m so full of water I’m barely drinking anything else.

It’s a really simple idea but one I wish someone had suggested to me ages ago. But now YOU know! So go! Find a straw cup! Be healthy!

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What’s For Dinner? Volume 8

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

All of these recipes came from the Weight Watchers PointsPlus Cookbook which I bought at my meeting a few weeks ago. (It appears you can get it used on Amazon but not new. Although I like it SO MUCH I am going to recommend you find a WW storefront and go pick one up.)I apologize for not linking all the recipes the way I usually do, but they’re not online (although I suspect a Google search would turn up close-enough approximations)(not that I would suggest you use plagiarized recipes)(but since technically you can’t copyright a recipe it’s probably not illegal)(good God why am I still typing this paragraph?)

I’ve fallen off the diet wagon a few times over the past few weeks and the hardest part of getting back on is cooking at home – it’s so easy to make a “healthy” dinner that gets totally out of control with the portion sizes. But these recipes made with actual real ingredients (as opposed to some extremely popular diet cookbooks that use a lot of scary substitutes – soft yellow butter flavored oil-based spread vs. BUTTER) and were eaten happily by everyone.

Except for the soup, since E hates soup. I KNOW. YOU tell him how ridiculous that is.

1. Smoky Shrimp and Corn Soup
2. Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Lemon
3. Rosemary Chicken with Balmasic-Glazed Onions
4. Wasabi Steak and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

1. Asian Turkey and Noodle Salad
2. Texas Chicken Soup
3. Falafel Sandwiches with Lemon Yogurt
4. Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Spring Vegetables

What did you have for dinner this week?

I just spent 45 minutes trying to decide if I should start this post with a disclosure about how it is NOT SPONSORED or if I should just write the damn thing and because there is no disclosure people will know I’m not being compensated. I’ve seen a few posts/Twitter conversations recently where readers are torn on the subject – they HATE that bloggers do a non-disclosure disclosure for every single post where they mention a brand or a product (“This post is NOT SPONSORED by unicorns! Unicorns have no idea I exist!!”) but they ALSO hate when they get to the end of a really nice, heartfelt post and they get a surprise disclosure (“This post about how awesome toe nail fungus is was sponsored by the United Coalition of Toe Nail Fungus Enthusiasts – but I REALLY DO love toe nail fugus! It’s so great!!”) Obviously I decided to go with a disclosure – in a sort of rambling, round about way – because it is about a diet program and in the blogging world there’s a lot of diet sponsorship.

So. Let me explain. No, there is to much. Let me sum up: I am a paying member of Weight Watchers, a program I’ve been using for a few months and love. I bought this cookbook and all the groceries with my own money. Weight Watchers has no idea who I am – beyond someone who pays them and has lost 15 lbs so far.

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CSA Update: Summer Bounty

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

My CSA membership has been paying out big time for the last few weeks. I snarfed down all the early season carrots and snap peas and lettuce without even bothering to take pictures or find recipes, because what can you possibly do to a fresh-picked snap pea to make it BETTER? (Hint: NOTHING. Except for shoving it into your face hole.)

Toddler photobombing my picture of last week's haul to get a cherry tomato

All my hopes for teaching the toddler about fresh and local food have come absolutely true. He asks to go to the farm all the time, loves seeing the plants and checking out the changes each week and will eat things I NEVER thought would pass his lips (peas! beans! lettuce!) if he gets them fresh.

But I haven’t been wasting all my veggies on the toddler. They’ve been a total life-saver on my diet plan, since I can eat as many vegetables as I want – and they are SO MUCH EASIER to eat when you know they’re fresh and tasty and they’re sitting on my kitchen counter.

Here’s what I got on Tuesday:

1. Arugula
2. Cabbage
3. Summer Savory
4. Amethyst basil plant
5. Cinnamon basil
6. Jalapeno
7. Heirloom tomato
8. Garlic
9. Eggplant
10. Green pepper
11. Cucumber
12. Fingerling potatoes
13. Red poatoes
14. Hot peppers
15. Cherry tomatoes
16. Pole beans

Holy cow. How do I even START to eat all of that goodness?

Pinterest helps, of course. I used some of the fingerling potatoes for Salt & Vinegar Fingerlings, although I wussed out on the full 2 cups of vinegar and I shouldn’t have – they weren’t tart enough for me. And I’m going to make Spicy Green Beans with my pole beans tomorrow, although mine will be a lot less fancy than that recipe (grapeseed oil? pshaw). I think we’ll have Parmesan Roasted Potatoes this weekend with the red of my red potatoes to satisfy my french fry craving.

And here are my super easy, spur of the moment, straight out of my brain recipes:

Eggplant Bruchetta

Eggplant sliced thin and broiled for about 4 minutes on each side, then topped with chopped basil, garlic and tomatoes and drizzled with balsamic vinegar. 100% CSA. And it was ZERO points on my Weight Watchers plan.

Chicken quesadillas with homemade salsa

Chicken, green peppers and onions sauteed with garlic salt and cumin, then I used my handy-dandy quesadilla maker and some Mexican cheese blend to make it melty. The salsa is the heirloom tomato, tons of garlic, one of the hot peppers, cilantro and lime juice.

Potato rosemary pizza

Pillsbury pizza crust baked for 5 minutes, then topped with mozzarella, chopped rosemary, chopped garlic and all three kinds of potatoes I got from the CSA sliced as thin as possible. Sprinkle with salt and bake for about 20 minutes more. Next time I might roast the potato slices for a few minutes before putting them on the pizza so they’re crispier, but even my husband ate it and agreed it was good. And so pretty!

We have summer squash and zucchini and more eggplant (my new FAVORITE) and tons more tomatoes coming in the next few weeks, so let me know if you have any favorite recipes. Oh, and I need a suggestion for that head of cabbage. It’s so beautiful I hate to turn it into coleslaw but I don’t know what else to do with cabbage.

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The Running of the Reluctant

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I recently started running, what with it being so good for me and so many people talking about this great Couch to 5k program and maybe crying a little at that stupid coffee commercial where the mom holds her kindergarten aged daughter’s hand as she runs across the finish line of her first race. KNOCK IT OFF, COFFEE COMMERCIAL. I drink you to just barely make it through my day with 2 kids, not for your magic race-running properties.

It turns out I still feel the same way about running I did when I was 10 – I HATE it. Everything about it. I hate the stupid running sports bras that are supposed to keep me from giving myself 2 black eyes from all the bouncing. I hate the expensive running shoes that the guy at the running store made me buy in a giant clown-shoe size so my feet could “spread”. The whole point of running was to STOP things from spreading anymore than they already have. I hate the way my ankles and knees and legs feel when they hit the pavement. I hate breathing hard. I hate sweating. I hate planning out a route (even more now that the high school track behind my house is closed for renovations and I have to run on the dirty, uneven sidewalk). I hate running while pushing a stroller and stopping every 2 minutes to find out what the toddler is screaming about or try to convince the baby to lie down so she doesn’t flop around like a ragdoll. I hear that’s not so good for babies. If God had wanted humans to run more than absolutely necessary, he would send angry badgers to chase us. Or he wouldn’t have invented cars. Or grocery delivery.

But because so many of my friends – both real and interweb – are runners, I figured I should give it another shot. I downloaded the C25K app. I bought the fancy clown shoes. I strapped my boobs into a bra so tight it was in danger of pushing them through my back. I handed the kids over to my husband and told him I was going stroller-free and would be back in 40 minutes. And I ran. Every time the little bell dinged I took a deep breath and swung my arms and plowed through my discomfort. I didn’t give up. I finished the first day’s workout. And the second. Then a week. Then two weeks. It occurred to me that maybe, possibly, there was something to this running thing after all and maybe, possibly I could be the mom in the coffee commercial who finished a 5k with her proud family looking on.

Then I fell down.

Now I’m on the injured list. My foot hurts when I try to do more than limp my way through the clearance racks at Target (although thank God it feels well enough for that. Priorities, people) so I’ll be on couch-squashing duty for at least another week.

I kind of miss running.

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